Anime roundup 6/13/2014: An Unexpected Gurney

In this week’s viewing: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Brynhildr in the Darkness are each down a character, and more!

JoJo-10 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders #10 – Restraining their destructive tendencies for a while, our heroes make several uneventful hops (or, more likely, the adapters decided to skip a few fights of no lasting consequence) to arrive safely in Kolkata, city of teeming crowds and menacing toilets. Finding an opportunity to confront the man with two right hands, Polnareff storms off to avenge his sister’s honor, only to discover that he’s gotten a special two-for-one deal on villains. Avdol arrives to help, but suddenly he’s the one dead of their tandem attack.

That whiplashed pretty quickly, from toilet humor to one of the main characters lying dead in the street. Or is he dead? This being the kind of show that it is, I give it fifty-fifty odds that next time, after the Emperor and the Hanged Man have been defeated and Polnareff sheds more manly tears of guilt while admitting that he should have listend to Avdol in the first place, Avdol will wake up again and explain with a smirk that he’s just really good at playing dead. I hope that’s what happens, since I was starting to think that Avdol is my favorite character.

Mushishi-8 Mushishi #8 – If we’ve all learned an important lesson here, it’s that if you’re going to warn people, be specific. If Ginko had specifically said, “A writhing mass of spectral eels will appear and punch holes in everything,” rather than just “Something bad will happen,” is it possible that Ibuki wouldn’t have tried whistling at night? Or might he still have done it to see for himself?

Ibuki doesn’t seem to be too concerned with the misfortunes he brings on others. It’s implied that he’s an orphan, raised by a couple that has taken many children in, and always felt like he never had their respect. Even the final cleansing of their house is a tantrum aimed at them as much as an attempt to end the problem of the yobiko.

But wow, what a gorgeously animated tantrum that was. The amazing attention to detail that makes the crowds of torikaze and yobiko truly look alive is almost certainly what delayed this episode a week.

Nanana-9 Nanana’s Buried Treasure #9 – Here’s one show where the cast isn’t being thinned, despite Hīyo’s best efforts. First Kagetora survives serious injuries at his hands (well, feet, technically), and then we learn that Yun should have died locked away in a treasure chamber. Her taste for bat and devil accessories is suddenly taking on a whole new meaning.

That’s our first hint that the treasure at Southred Mall is something special even in comparison to the rest of Nanana’s collection. The second is that Nanana, usually so eager for the treasures to be put to use once they’re found, jumps at the chance to ban Jūgo from ever using it. This starts him thinking about Nanana’s real motivations. Does she really want to move on? Is she happy doing what she’s doing? Could she herself be the mysterious Leprechaun who hides the treasures again? Heck, if she’s this committed to her task, could she have arranged to have herself killed in the first place?

Brynhildr-10 Brynhildr in the Darkness #10 – Even though it was obvious Nanami had to die, her death still manages to come suddenly, hitting before her newfound friends even have a chance to take desperate measures to save her. Now she lives on only in Ryōta’s memory (and maybe Kogoro’s) and a slight change to the ending sequence. That was a nice touch.

But with no one else aware that she melted into goo right in front of them, it’s possible to switch gears straight into finals week, where the big revelation of the episode that Neko is the kind of supergenius who can go from not knowing arithmetic to posting top scores in the course of a few weeks. Given that, Ryōta can only imagine what she’d be capable of if she didn’t keep losing her memories.

And speaking of scary, the lab has lined up a serious villain for the next challenge. All we know about Valkyria so far is that she’s both insanely overpowered and just plain insane. It looks like the big confrontation is being set up for the end-of-season cliffhanger.

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